Mortgage competition is so fierce now that you can negotiate better terms on rates, fees and restrictions - providing you go in with some knowledge.
Start Early and Be Prepared: Your bank will be happy to do a basic mortgage and pre-approval document for you, but in order to close a deal you will need an up-to-date personal credit score, tax assessments from the last 2 years, and a thorough accounting of your income including non salaried contracts and debt. Along with your down payment, you will need to set aside roughly 2 per cent of the purchase price for legal fees, mortgage insurance, title insurance and land transfer taxes.
Familiarize Yourself With The Mortgage Basics: Read up on how a fixed rate mortgage compares to a variable rate and the difference between a closed and open mortgage. Don't automatically take a five year fixed mortgage, but research the various terms that are available.
Remember You Have More Leverage Than You Think: The mortgage lending market is extremely competitive and that makes the buyer accessible to various lending institutions such as Banks, Mortgage Brokers, Credit Unions. Try to be informed and have your mortgage make sense of your priorities.